Disaster-hit Asia counts the dead:
Rescue workers continue search
INDONESIA: Dazed Asian countries reeled from the full force of
nature’s fury on Thursday with thousands feared dead in a freak
onslaught of devastating earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons.
Rescuers picked through rubble after a huge quake struck Indonesia
and a towering tsunami deluged the Samoan islands, while millions of
flood-hit storm survivors in Southeast Asia braced for a new
Fresh panic hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where another
powerful quake hit the day after Wednesday’s 7.6-magnitude disaster,
sending traumatised residents fleeing their homes.
Officials said 529 were confirmed dead on Sumatra. But as rescue
workers dug with their bare hands in pouring rain to reach those trapped
alive in collapsed buildings, the number was expected to soar. “Our
prediction is that thousands have died,” Health Ministry crisis centre
head Rustam Pakaya said.
The first flights laden with aid and body bags began arriving in the
devastated coastal city of Padang, home to nearly a million people,
where Wednesday’s quake sparked fires and caused buildings to crumble.
“I’ve been waiting here since yesterday. I haven’t been home yet and
keep praying to God my daughter is alive,” 49-year-old mother Andriana
said police searched a collapsed school where dozens of children were
It was the second quake in hours on the Pacific Ocean’s volatile
“Ring of Fire”, coming after the massive 8.0-magnitude tremor that
spawned a deadly tsunami in the Samoan islands.
Padang, Sunday, AFP